Friday, August 31, 2007

"Thank You, and Bless You, So Much..."

The days have been intense on this end, but your outpouring has been nothing short of tremendous.

I knew this readership would come through... but, friends, wow. Over three years and 3,200-plus posts, I've never seen anything like it.

Thanks to our clerical contingent, Danny won't just have one "First Mass," but close to 500. And that's on top of hundreds more expressions of prayer, closeness and sympathy sent from, literally, every corner of the globe, each more touching and heartfelt than the next, each marked by the same spirit of faith, love, and generosity that marked his extraordinary journey, both among his own and toward the Lord.

Whenever the church called, Parrillo's "yes" was never given with anything less than all of himself. And in these days, the church -- the People of God -- has come together to return that gift to him and those closest to him in an even more resounding way.

The other night, I brought a book with just a sampling of the notes to Dan's dad, Al. The rate they've been coming in, several more books will be going to the family -- that's how amazing, both in heart and number, all of you have been through the week.

No words can express how your notes, the Masses, prayers and support have overwhelmed and consoled Dan's family and friends, especially Al, who wept as many of them were read to him, or the places where they were coming from. When I asked him for some words to pass along to everyone who took the time to reach out, he said, simply: "Thank you, and bless you, so much."

Some of you have spoken of how you only wish you knew Danny. Thing is, though, now you do. And it seems that, just as a good many of us were so blessed to be able to call on him down here, he's got a lot more people who will do that now. As one of his colleagues wrote on a tribute page, "I'm sure he's [already] on some special assignment only he could do."

Or six. Or ten.

No words could offer adequate thanks to all of you for welcoming Dan into your hearts, into your prayers, and helping us send him home with the same amount of love he gave so many of us.

Tonight and tomorrow won't be easy to get through, so keep the prayers coming -- and for those of you traveling this Labor Day weekend, please be safe.

Especially for your goodness these last few days, God love and reward you always.